I’ve been telling the audience of “Common Cents” for months now that secular-progressive groups like the Madison, Wisconsin based Freedom From Religion Foundation and the ACLU are targeting the state of South Carolina. Groups like this recognize what the rest of the nation recognizes: that South Carolina is a stronghold for faith, freedom and free-markets and, as such, stands as an obstacle to the desires of radical anti-religious liberty organizations to radically remake America. For this reason, these radical secular-progressive entities have placed lots of personnel and resources into trying to turn SC blue, and toppling this conservative stronghold in our country. South Carolina is, for them, like a “Hail Mary” pass; if they can topple South Carolina’s conservative culture, they can topple similar values anywhere else.
For this reason, South Carolinians must be equally resolved to preserve our values and culture of faith, family, freedom and free-enterprise against such outright hostility.
The most recent example of this war on South Carolina values, particularly our commitment to religious liberty, took place at a York County charter school. York Preparatory Academy, a South Carolina public charter school, reportedly received a letter from the ACLU threatening them with a lawsuit if their Christmas concert on campus included any religious music or messages. As such, the school’s band director and school officials banned students from performing “Joy to the World” and “O Come All Ye Faithful” during the school’s Christmas concert. Understandably, parents were outraged that a Christmas concert couldn’t include any songs related to Christmas. Many voiced their concern over the schools gag order on religious language and / or songs at a Christmas pageant, which prompted the Alliance Defending Freedom to get involved.
The Alliance Defending Freedom is a conservative, privately-funded, legal defense organization headquartered in Arizona which specializes in religious liberty litigation. In response to the school’s obvious infringement on the students’ First Amendment rights to religious liberty, the ADF sent a letter to the school to counter the bullying attempts by the ACLU and others. Rory Gray from the ADF summed-up the situation as follows: “Schools shouldn’t have to think twice about whether they can allow Christmas carols, including ones with Christian themes that are naturally part of the holiday.” The ADF’s letter outlining what the First Amendment actually entails, and refuting the ACLU’s and Freedom From Religion Foundation’s warped worldview on what separation of church and state is really all about, went a long way toward encouraging the school to stand up for common sense in South Carolina.
I’m happy to report that, since receiving the letter from the Alliance Defending Freedom, the York Preparatory Academy has reversed its previous gag order against Christian themes in its Christmas pageant. This is a victory for South Carolina families and our state’s strong commitment to the Judeo-Christian value system. I hope that it reinforces the message to the rest of the country, particularly the ACLU and its allies, that South Carolina will not be bullied, and we do still cherish our religious freedom in the Palmetto State.